San Francisco –> The Heartland

5 Jul

My family and I have been going through some big changes over the past few months.  In April, my husband was offered a job in Illinois. It was excellent opportunity and would bring us closer to our families.  So, we accepted.  In just two weeks, we packed up our tiny apartment, loaded up the sous chef and cat and moved across the country.

To say we are going through culture shock would be an understatement.

To put it simply, we moved from San Francisco to the anti-San Francisco.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but things are very different here in the heartland.


A few differences I’ve noticed so far:


1.  You have to drive A LOT here, like, to everything.  Fancy a cappuccino?  Get in your car.  How about a sandwich?  Better strap on your seatbelt.   Want to go for a walk?  Get in your car and drive to a park, because there are very few sidewalks in these parts.  After living for years without a car in San Francisco, this has been the biggest (and hardest) change so far.  Luckily the neighborhood we’re moving to in August has sidewalks, so fingers crossed we’ll be walking more.


2.  Living is cheap!  A typical conversation in San Francisco:

Me:  That house is for sale and it’s beautiful!  How much do you think it’s going for?

My husband:  Well, it’s, what, 3 bedrooms, has no yard and no garage and only one bathroom?  I’d say about 1.5 million.

Me:  Wrong!  It’s only 1.25 million!

Here in the heartland, houses are so cheap it’s ridiculous (and actually quite sad for everyone with a house on the market).  We just bought a beautiful 3 bedroom home with a lovely yard, plenty of bathrooms and a finished basement.   I won’t reveal the price, because then you would all be packing up and moving here.  Let’s just say it was very affordable.


3.  The food.  Oh California produce.  I didn’t know what I had til you were gone.  You were so perfect and plentiful and organic and lovely and you were available year round. *sigh*  I miss you.

The food isn’t bad here, it’s just much harder to find the same quality produce.  In SF I would walk out my front door and  trip over fresh, organic meyer lemons.  Now I have to drive 45mns to find them.  I’m looking into a few CSAs here, which I think will give me what I want, but only time will tell.  I have yet to do a winter here, so that should be interesting.


We’re doing our best to adjust to the changes.  And, I’m sure in time we’ll feel just at home here as we did in SF.  In the meantime, everyone in California please eat an avocado for me!




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